CONTACT of Ocean & Monmouth Counties Celebrates 48 Years of Lifeline Services
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TOMS RIVER, N.J. - JerseyDesk -- December 1st marks a significant milestone for CONTACT of Ocean & Monmouth Counties as they celebrate 48 years of providing 24-hour support to the community. Since 1975, this volunteer-based organization has been a beacon of hope, offering a free confidential listening ear and a comforting voice to those in need.

In its early years, CONTACT volunteers answered 8,000 calls annually, a testament to the critical role it played even then. Today the organization has seen a substantial increase in the volume of calls, having answered over 25,000 calls this year alone. This growth reflects the pressing demand for the services CONTACT provides.

CONTACT of Ocean & Monmouth Counties operates 24/7, ensuring that their phone lines are open anytime, day or night, for those seeking someone to talk to. The organization has become a lifeline for individuals who find themselves feeling overwhelmed, facing mental health challenges, or grappling with thoughts of suicide. CONTACT stands as a pillar of support, offering empathy and understanding to those navigating through difficult times.

The rise in mental health and suicide-related calls is indicative of the increasing challenges faced by individuals in our society. Moreover, CONTACT has observed a surge in referrals for financial assistance, emergency shelter, and substance use issues. In 2023, The US Department of Health and Human Services along with the US Surgeon General issued an advisory on the healing effects of social connection and community in a paper entitled, "Our Epidemic of Loneliness and Isolation".

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"I have been volunteering with CONTACT since the Spring of 2012," stated Karen Patrick-Mackolin, CONTACT Volunteer. "I believe we are all connected, that we need connection, and that sometimes connections get damaged or severed due to various circumstances. When I successfully use unconditional, positive regard, and active listening skills with a caller, a connection occurs and that gives me a feeling of great satisfaction."

Isolation and loneliness affect people of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds, a reality witnessed by CONTACT in their daily interactions with callers. Many individuals, yearning for connection, reach out to CONTACT consistently, forming a bond that lasts for years. CONTACT has been a constant companion, supporting callers through various challenges and stages of their lives.

"I love that incoming calls are answered by a live person. Volunteers have access to a tremendous database, so callers have instant access to questions regarding services as well as that personal touch from a live person when a caller needs to talk to someone. My favorite part of being a member of the CONTACT family is knowing you are able to make a difference in a life," noted Pat Lathom, CONTACT Volunteer.

"CONTACT remains steadfast in its commitment to being a source of hope for anyone in need, never turning away a caller seeking support," noted Kim Santora, Executive Director of CONTACT. "We need your support.  Please consider a donation to CONTACT so that we may continue to keep our phone lines open 24/7 for anyone who needs us. Together we are making a difference."

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If you or someone you know is in crisis, needs help or a listening ear, please call CONTACT's 24/7 Crisis Hotline at 732-240-6100.

For more information about CONTACT and volunteering, please call 732-240-6104 or email

About CONTACT of Ocean & Monmouth Counties

CONTACT of Ocean & Monmouth Counties is a non-profit charitable organization that provides trained telephone listeners who respond to human needs 24 hours every day. This volunteer-based organization offers free confidential crisis intervention, information on available resources, and referrals to community services. To learn more, visit

Allison Brown

Source: CONTACT of Ocean & Monmouth Counties
Filed Under: Non-profit

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